The Victoria Royals defeated the Vancouver Giants 4-3 in Langley tonight in the first game of the weekend series. The win marks the Royals fourth win in a row and sixth in their last seven games.

Campbell Arnold got the start tonight for Victoria. The last time the netminder played against the Giants was in the 2019-20 season with the Spokane Chiefs. Tonight’s game in Langley was the Giant’s annual Teddy Bear Toss so when Fabian Lysell scored the first goal, the rink was flooded with stuffed animals all of which would be donated to charity. With six minutes to go, the Royals were on the power play when Gannon Laroque made a pass to Bailey Peach who shot it towards the net for Brayden Schuurman who tipped it in to tie the game at one.

It was a four-on-four game two minutes into the second period when with 43 seconds left, Tarun Fizer took a penalty for hooking to give the Giants a four-on-three advantage. The Royals were able to kill off the penalty and as Fizer was coming out of the box, he drove the puck down to the Giants net where he met Peach for the goal. Arnold denied the Giants on several chances during the second, but after applying pressure in the Royals zone, Lysell got his second of the night to tie the game at two. Immediately after, Mazden Leslie took a shot from the point that gave the Giants a 3-2 lead. With under four minutes to go, Zack Ostapchuk took a penalty for slashing to put the Royals on the power play. Less than a minute in, Keanu Derungs got the equalizer for the Royals to tie it at three.

Giants Teddy Bear Toss Night Spoiled By Royals Late Goal.Photos by: Rob Wilton

The game remained scoreless until there was two minutes left in the third with Laroque taking a shot from the point to take the lead 4-3. The Giants pulled goaltender Jesper Vikman immediately after the Royals goal to give Vancouver the extra man advantage, but they were unable to get one past Arnold to give the Royals the 4-3 win.

GM and Head Coach Dan Price was proud of his team for their conjoined efforts this evening.

“I’m proud of the Team for sticking with the process and fighting through the ups and downs throughout the game. They stayed strong in all situations and it took everyone to win,” he said. “That was a tough test and now we’ll focus on recovery and on preparing for tomorrow’s game.”

The three stars of the night were Fabian Lysell (VAN), Bailey Peach (VIC) and Alex Cotton (VAN).

The two teams head to Victoria tomorrow night for the inaugural Lighthouse Island Bowl on the eve of the CFL Grey Cup.